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A review of one-way and two-way experiments to test the isotropy of the speed of light

Abstract

As we approach the 125th anniversary of the Michelson–Morley experiment in 2012, we have reviewed experiments that test the isotropy of the speed of light. Previous measurements are categorized into one-way (single-trip) and two-way (round-trip averaged or over closed paths) approaches and the level of experimental verification that these experiments provide is discussed. The isotropy of the speed of light is one of the postulates of the special theory of relativity and, consequently, this phenomenon has been subject to considerable experimental scrutiny. Here, we have tabulated significant experiments performed since 1881 and attempt to indicate a direction for future investigation.

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Acknowledgments

This work is supported in part by the National Science and Engineering Research Council, Thoth Technology Inc. and York University, Canada.

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Correspondence to Md. F Ahmed.

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Ahmed, M.F., Quine, B.M., Sargoytchev, S. et al. A review of one-way and two-way experiments to test the isotropy of the speed of light. Indian J Phys 86, 835–848 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12648-012-0112-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12648-012-0112-4

Keywords

  • Isotropy test
  • Special theory of relativity
  • Constancy of the one-way speed of light

PACS Nos.

  • 03.30.+p
  • 07.60.−j
  • 07.60.Ly